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Building a computer for the first time, HELP?

by liljdoodoo / March 11, 2010 11:10 PM PST

I am wondering if any of these parts conflict or any suggestions for the replacement also why did they not match. I am trying to learn how to build a computer without going to school. I have somewhat higher than average understanding of pc's just not building them. Mostly confused on the GPU's and matching the right memory. I have a budget of $850 this will need to include moniter and play medium to somewhat high end games.

*Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Black SECC /Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
*MSI P43-C51 LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard
*ZOTAC ZT-20203-10L GeForce GT 220 1GB
*COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 500W ATX12V V2.3 Power Supply
*Intel Core2 Duo E7500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
*G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
*Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
*LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model
*Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

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AMD = Budget Processor
by axekick / March 12, 2010 10:30 AM PST

In my opinion and the opinion of most articles I have read you will get a better mid-range processor out of the AMD lineup per dollar anyway.

Within the past year I built my first computer and it went without any problems what so ever. I think if you've done your research and have spent ample time inside one it will be effortless unless you get a bad component and need to troubleshoot it without an operating system installed.

I've had very good luck with G.Skill RAM. It is in my current computer which was the fourth set of it I have owned. Once I had a module go bad after 3 years and it was exchanged for a new set within 5 days of returning the set with the bad module in it.

I've always read that the Western Digital Black Drives are more durable. They have a 500GB & 640GB drive that also has 32Mb cache as opposed to 16Mb and are very reasonably priced. http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Wd5001Aals-7200Rpm-Ii-300/dp/B002OOWHY2

A case is a matter of personal preference but I went with the Antec 300 Illusion case for $69.XX($59.XX on sale at the time)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

Definetely use the Windows 7 64-bit, regardless of which version.

I'm partial to Corsair Power Supplies and they're reasonably priced being they need not be over-sized. (They will handle their rated power loads)

DVD-writer I would get anything with reasonable ratings that wasn't expensive.

Then the Processor(CPU) and Motherboard depend a great deal on if you insist upon Intel or if you would go with AMD. I've always used AMD and am not familiar with Intel processor's or motherboards without first researching them. The motherboard you listed does not have onboard video and you didn't list a video card? If you do not already own one you will either need a motherboard with onboard video or a separate video card which will add considerably to the cost.

Monitor depends on what you are willing to settle for. I got a 23" Acer monitor from Newegg for $169.00 (sale price at the time)

I strongly recommend you do your research at Newegg.com and go based on the consumer reviews provided for each component. There's a ton of valuable information there for most any component you would wish to purchase.

Good luck and don't sweat it once you've wisely selected your parts. I read as a rule of thumb plan on 2 to 3 days for your first build but I had mine together with the operating system installed in about 3-1/2 hours and I had no prior knowledge of building a system.

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Thank you for these Notes
by liljdoodoo / March 12, 2010 11:48 PM PST
In reply to: AMD = Budget Processor

I will take in All these thoughts. I forgot to mention all of my above parts were found on newegg.com. I am always doing research on different sites to comparison shop but usually stick with newegg.
So id AMD better with gaming than Intel?

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u need better GPU
by seb.2003 / March 13, 2010 2:13 AM PST

I would go for a better Graphics card than what u mentioned if you're going to play high end games. like the HD5770

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AMD > Intel
by axekick / March 13, 2010 2:18 AM PST

Without sounding like an AMD fanboy or appearing to have any interest in the company it is my solid opinion that AMD is better than Intel at most pricepoints although the very high end Intel i7 processors are superior to AMD's high end CPU's.

Here's a recent article from a reputible website (Tom's Hardware) listing their picks for "best gaming processors" at each price point.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,2545.html?xtmc=best_gaming_cpu&xtcr=2

The AMD's will get you much more bang for your buck as the motherboards are typically considerally less expensive too. My recommendation would be to look at Gigabyte or Asus motherboards with onboard graphics/sound/ethernet. Then when time and money allows upgrade the video by installing a dedicated video card. But at your current price point it would be hard to manage a worthy video card with your build.

I recommend AMD Socket AM3 processor's and motherboards with DDR3 memory. List them on Newegg then sort by highest rating, check which is the hottest seller, read reviews and go from there.

And another thing I forgot to mention but you likely already know is make certain all your hard drives and optical drives are SATA. IF you have any more questions don't hesitate. Good luck again and I do encourage you to look into AMD's.

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axekick - an FYI
by ust1268 / March 13, 2010 3:45 AM PST
In reply to: AMD = Budget Processor

"The motherboard you listed does not have onboard video and you didn't list a video card?"

His video card is listed right after the mobo.

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Thanks, my bad...
by axekick / March 13, 2010 5:53 AM PST
In reply to: axekick - an FYI

thanks for correcting me.

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Building a Computer for the first time
by FritzK1119 / March 12, 2010 11:06 AM PST

Just a simple tip, as all your components look great. The tip: When starting your computer for the first time, have everything unplugged except for the MB & CPU. ie: disconnect DVD, floppy & even the HD. You should see the MB advertising on your video (from the chip PROM). This eliminates the unknowns from the equation. Once you see the advertising you can shut down & hook up the rest. FritzK

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Better to do that initial MB TEST outside the PC.
by VAPCMD / March 12, 2010 11:39 PM PST

If it won't work outside the case during a BENCH TEST .. no point installing/mounting the MB in the case.

VAPCMD

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Not enough power
by DavF1 / March 13, 2010 5:07 AM PST

I think you should try to get a higher performance graphics card like the geforce 250, 8800 gt or 9800 gt as minimum. Or on the radeon side 5770 or higher. Your CPU is o.k. but probably will need a quad-core or higher in the future.

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Your 1st computer...
by Brechan / March 13, 2010 5:09 PM PST

should be upgradable and expandable.
You don't want to be building your computer with some newer technologies (eg: DDR3 memory) but some older technology (Intel series LGA775 mobo); if you are planning to get into the DDR3 end of things, then your whole system should reflect this decision.
Whether you choose to build on the Intel or AMD platform is up to you; but as others have stated, AMD is a better buy for the price conscious.

If you're worried about getting the right memory for the particular mobo you have picked out; look at the mobo's website, they usually post a QVL (Qualified Vendors List) for supported memory/CPU, for that particular board.
One last thing, if you're shopping at newegg.com; possibly check out their 'Combo Deals', as you might be able to get a better deal on CPU/GPU/memory than buying seprately.

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Some parts to consider
by axekick / March 13, 2010 8:26 PM PST

liljdoodoo,

I tried piecing together a system per your specifications but couldn't get it under $934.90 without making sacrafices I wouldn't be comfortable recommending. Motherboard is critical obviously, especially if using Windows 7 OEM. Power supplies are also critical because a bad one can ruin any component in your system. A bad hard drive and you lose all your data. Then regarding monitors and video cards I wouldn't recommend anything of questionable size and quality because I tend to keep these for 5+ years. Personally I'm too cheap to upgrade my video card as often as many do.

As per the Tom's Hardware Link I posted above I would recommend you give much consideration to this processor for $86.99(note those who didn't rate it with 5-stars all did so because they were unable to unlock the fourth core. It is a three-core processor so a fourth core should not be expected in my opinion) -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103843

This Corsair 550VX 550W Power Supply is likely all you would need with this system. I know people typically over-size their PSU's but believe it is primarily because many PSU manufacturer's make false claims about their Power Supplies. My own system should run a maximum of 390 watts and I have been using a Corsair 450VX (450 Watt)flawlessly and without any sign of trouble for years. Right now Newegg has it marked down from $105 to $79.99 which is an excellent buy.(5-year Warranty standard)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004

The Western Digital Black hard drives again are top quality and an excellent value.(5-year warranty standard) This one is a 640GB, 32MB cache for $74.99 -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319

Then there are several good motherboards for the processor listed above or any other AMD socket AM3. And there are also several other processors you could upgrade to at a later date for increased power and speed without chaning your motherboard. But if you are serious about getting everything you desire for $850 I would recommend using the onboard graphics until you can get additional money for a better video card. Of course it is your choice and a personal one as with all of this.

System case is also a very personal preference but having built only one system myself and utilized the Atec 300 Illusion I am comfortable recommending it because cable routing was easier than most cases and the case has more than sufficient cooling with 4 large fans built in as well as a dust filter. The case does NOT have a system speaker and the front audio panel is not shielded which means you can get a static sound through your speakers occasionally if other electronics are near. I only get it briefly before my cellular phone rings.

Unless you are without a system completely now I would also advise you to take your time and weigh your options carefully. Trust no single person's advice, including my own. Get a concensus of opinions and read reviews so you are comfortable with the components you purchase.

Also read about building a computer and/or watch some tutorial video's online. You should know exactly how to go about it and in what order to do what before ordering the parts. Cable Management is really the only thing you should need to decide on the fly because you need to get your parts assembled to know how best to do this.

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Thank you very much!!!
by liljdoodoo / March 14, 2010 1:54 AM PST
In reply to: Some parts to consider

Thank you very much for the honest advice, these ideas I will definitely keep in mind. All who have posted on this forum have helped make my decision towards building my first PC. I have had computers but all nasty filled manufactured computers. I could never afford till now to build my first PC, only added parts to manufactured pc's in the past. However I am trying to make this the best for MY liking, but I am always trying to get the help of others when I know I don't know enough about building one myself. I can run them, just not build them, yet. I am no pro but know my way around a little on lots of different things with PC's, still learning new things every second though.
This is going to be fun having everything and I am going to enjoy this new computer and then some. I appreciate everyone's advice and thank you axekick for your honesty, this type of help is what I was looking for in the proceeding of building my first computer. It?s not all the time that folks take out of their own time to help others, this is cool.
Posts are always welcome, like axekick said, "Trust no single person's advice, including my own." This is very true. I like hearing various opinions because they all come around to be pretty close in discussion and can make a large influence on one's final decision.

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good luck and enjoy
by axekick / March 14, 2010 12:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you very much!!!

I'm simply passing along the favor that others have done for me in the past. You are wise to seek advice and also wise to be building your own system. No manufacturer I am aware of uses all quality parts. They all skimp on quality in some of their parts, often the most critical ones. If you pay someone else to build you a system they will typically make up to $100/hour for doing it so it is best to do it yourself. It wasn't long ago I was in your situation and today am very glad I took the initiative to build my own. Now I have a solid computer, customized to my specific needs, with all quality parts each with their own warranty, can be upgraded at any time easily and effortlessly. If my operating system ever becomes corrupt or I get a bad virus reinstalling Windows is a simple and quick process as opposed to using "restore CD's" that reinstall all the crapware that later has to be removed manually.

If you are like me you will find the entire process rewarding and empowering and never be intimidated by your computer hardware again, lol. I do hope you get exactly what you want and enjoy the process. But again I reiterate Don't purchase lesser quality parts thinking you will replace them at a later date. Since you can never recover money on used parts just wait until you can afford exactly what suits your needs. Similarly don't purchase More than you need as many do with video cards and power supplies. If you need any additional help or opinions post here. I would like to hear what you eventually decide to order and build. Have fun.

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I will keep you posted!
by liljdoodoo / March 14, 2010 10:48 PM PDT
In reply to: good luck and enjoy

Everyone has given me great help, this is very beneficial to my coming soon adventure. I am on disability at this time and will be getting enough money to "finally" buy what I want in my computer. You are very correct axekick in the crapware that manufacturers put in their computers. I am presently experiencing this now. The time it takes to restore this present computer is utterly ridiculous. And if you take just one wrong program out in manufactured computers that they (the manufacturer) have put in, that pretty much messes up the rest of the computer. The computer ends up with an attitude and you have to completely restart the restore process all over again. The things they store in your PC to their thinking of whatever that is, its not cool to an average still learning computer person.

It takes a lot of patience to own a manufactured computer that is almost a dinosaur in itself. I like my games and no way can I play good fun semi-up-to-date games nor even some of the old games such as AOE III (Age of Empires III) on this particular HP.

I know its going to be a great adventure to be able to build my own computer and along with the satisfaction knowing that I won't have to worry for a little while that my new computer won't be capable of playing a game. I don't get into the real high end games like World of Warcraft or Medal of Honor what ever edition is out now, just your average middle end games that are strategy style and affordable. I don't put tones of music on nor software that bogs your pride enjoy in the background. Some things I don't mind to run but their are some software that annoy me to death. This is going to be a great adventure and I will keep you informed along the way. I am honored to get your help. THANK YOU for time and ability to want to share, all of you, from this forum have giving me the help I was looking for. Have a great day!!!

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good luck
by pcsky456 / July 29, 2010 7:11 PM PDT

good luck !

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Acuatlly have finished product
by liljdoodoo / July 30, 2010 2:33 AM PDT
In reply to: good luck

The video is a lower grade than I really really want, but it play a few of the games along with the game I originally built it for.

Win 7 home OEM with Pro upgrade.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM58442594

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive58442594

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX440WFGIBOX

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

XFX HD-435X-YAH2 Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

MSI Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X Internal Burner

All these parts but the Win7 Pro upgrade came from http://www.newegg.com/ I have never done this before and it turned out to be the best adventure ever. This pc works so well except for user error every now and then, its a beauty. The power supply is big and not trusted but a some folks but never runs to hot, from the benefit of the case. And all the parts are keeping this computer up to its $6oo w/rebates price, otherwise I spent $645.00 for it. sounds cheap but when you look at the parts its really not other then the graphic card. Its a low grade but I did not need much at first, just one big enough to do my one game Majesty 2: the Fantasy Kingdom Sim. Now that I have this I am looking into a higher but not to expensive card, that I know will be what I want.

Thank you for ALL of your help everyone here.

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Here it is the final Thought
by liljdoodoo / March 16, 2010 10:19 AM PDT
In reply to: good luck and enjoy

Well what do you think this is the final thought on parts Unless something is not compatible. Otherwise this fits the budget and is pretty much all I really need for now going to be easy to add to at least for the future. I did lots of research on just about everything here. So, now alls I have to learn to do is how to put 2 OS's on this HDD. Some of the games I already have will not work on Windows 7 so I'll need XP on there to. Being the hard drive is 500gbs. Happy Can not wait to build this.

?LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
?AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor
?RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply
?ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard
?ZOTAC ZT-20203-10L GeForce GT 220 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
?G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK
?Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
?Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

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Windows 7 Professional
by Brechan / March 16, 2010 10:56 AM PDT

If you go with the Windows 7 Professional (OEM builders) version; then you will not need 2 O/S's, as this version has Virtual Windows XP, so that we people can play our games of old.

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True.. but . .have you needed the virtual drive?
by axekick / March 16, 2010 11:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows 7 Professional

This is a good point but I have some old games, over 10 years old that played on Windows 7 without utilizing a virtual drive. The only reason I needed to create a virtual drive and the reason I chose Windows 7 Professional was I own a copy of Autocad Version 14, which is about 12 years old and it would not install on Windows 7 without the virtual drive.

If you have had games that wouldn't play on Windows 7 I would like to hear about it. I wondered about this after first setting my system up and since have forgot all about it. But hell, I installed Delta Force Land Warrior and that's an ancient game.

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Hi axekick Rome Total War Won't work on WIN 7 PRO
by liljdoodoo / July 26, 2010 4:58 AM PDT

I have Windows 7 Pro and this game i will not install on any mode (including XPmode). I was wondering if someone could give me suggestions? I have tried just about everything obliviously not everything. The game always comes up as in compatible and when I force run the game it freezes or graphics fail. Please can someone help. I am still a little new to Windows 7 Pro too.:(

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I'd be hesitant to use that Power Supply
by axekick / March 16, 2010 11:10 AM PDT

I would be hesitant to use that power supply, or most any of those that are included with the case because they're most often junk.

It is important to realize that when using Windows OEM software opposed to the full version that if anything happens to your motherboard then your operating system is also gone. So if you rely on a substandard power supply and it happens to fry the motherboard then not only are you out the $130 for the motherboard but also the $110 for that copy of Windows. And it isn't too uncommon for a bad power supply to fry the motherboard, the CPU, the PSU(power supply)itself and anything else in your system. It would be a gamble in my opinion and as always your choice but it would not be a risk I would be willing to accept personally.

And I really don't know how well those lower end video cards work or what kind of performance you could expect from them. From what I have read recent onboard graphics work nearly as good if not as good and could be obtained by choosing another model motherboard. If it were me I would go that route(actually i did) and use the onboard graphics and then later purchasing a video card when it was more feasible to do so.

The hard drive and the memory are both identical to those in my own system so I would highly recommend both of them.

The burner has good ratings and reviews but they're so inexpensive any more it isn't a critical item. If one goes bad they can easily and inexpensively be replaced. Though the one you selected appears to be a good one.

I will read more about that case and the cable management inside of it because this should be a factor in selecting a case for your first build. Routing the cables inside some cases is very difficult, at times impossible without extensions and adapters. This Antec 300 Illusion that I am using made for rather easy cable management, has two large front blue LED fans, One huge blue LED fan on top and one exhuast fan in the rear. But the standard Antec 300 is very similar without the blue LED fans and is $10 less expensive.

So it is really up to you if you're willing to run a risk on a questionable power supply. When i was researching them for my own build I couldn't find case+power supply combo's that gave me much confidence.

I know the power supplies are expensive but personally consider it the second most important of the computer next to the motherboard. As a bad CPU won't harm other hardware only run slow and can be replaced easily. The motherboard is vital because everything runs through it and it should be upgradeable for as far into the future as possible. The AMD Socket AM3 will do this as good as any other socket currently on the market as they've already made much higher end processors for that socket.

Let me know and don't be hesitant to ask questions or opinions. I would consider any case, but not any power supply.

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Great to to know these things
by liljdoodoo / March 17, 2010 2:11 AM PDT

So, axekick or anyone, which PSU do you recommend? This is the hardest component to choose from I have seen some strange reviews on several PSU's out there it has me a bit confused. Mainly towards the complaints in most factors and others in how to tell how much a person really needs.

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PSU
by axekick / March 17, 2010 5:05 AM PDT

I use and would recommend Corsair Power Supplies. They routinely rate the best power supplies on the market and include a Five Year Warranty. Mine is whisper quiet, relatively small wattage wise for a PSU and powers my system without the slightest issue.

Mine is only 450 Watts and I believe that would be powerful enough for your system UNLESS you were to later upgrade to a high end video card that requires (2) PCI-E 6-pin power connections because this power supply only has one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003

Then here are all the componets I would recommend for you Except for the Monitor which is not included. The total cost of these parts displays as $783.91 and it includes the hard drive and memory you previously selected for your build. If you do use these parts or at least the case I show there is also a $12 discount upon entering the code that would bring your total these parts to $771.91(Without a Monitor) The video card is a GeForce 9800 and I prefer ATI but this card appears to be a best value in the price range with great reviews.

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128398


EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130339

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103843

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231189

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136320

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754

I also included the DVD burner you previously selected only for that reason. I don't know enough about them to go based on anything other than the reviews on Newegg and it had very good reviews.

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thanks
by liljdoodoo / March 17, 2010 6:47 AM PDT
In reply to: PSU

I changed DVD burner and show a balance around $778 including shipping ty for all your help. I'll let you know how it will turn out!!!

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Great, Enjoy and post back if you need help
by axekick / March 17, 2010 7:01 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

Glad to hear it liljdoodoo,

That motherboard I recommended does have onboard graphics so if you wish you could make do with the onboard graphics and pick up a video card later. Actually it has HD graphics and the motherboard is identical to the one in my build.

The Corsair Power supply has long cables which makes assembling it and routing the wires much easier. If you selected that Antec 300 Illusion case you will be impressed. It looks much nicer in person than in the pictures and is of quality contruction.

Post back if you have any issues and always remember if anything appears broken or not functioning properly upon receipt it is a painless process to exhange within the first 30 days at Newegg. You can always use the warranty from each manufacturer but it wont be as simple or quick a process as getting an exchange from Newegg. Those are all quality parts so it's highly unlikely you will have such an issue, but anything manufactured can have problems from the factory.

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$750 Gaming PC from Tom's Hardware
by axekick / March 18, 2010 12:50 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

liljdoodoo,

Yesterday Tom's Hardware posted their chosen design for a custom build $750 (budget) gaming PC. Note that when they arrive at their cost they don't include the cost of an operating system or monitor.

The good news is they selected the exact same motherboard in my system and than I recommended to you. They used G. Skill Ram but a different model that I used, one that wasn't available when I built my computer so haven't researched much. They also used the exact same case and hard drive I have and recommended to you.

I do not know why they utilized (2) budget video cards in a cross-fire configuration as opposed to one high end video card. But in doing so they were forced to use a less expensive and larger power supply to accomodate two video cards so they used Antec rather than Corsair.

Here's the article and it should give you some peace of mind in your choice of parts;

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/value-gaming-pc,2578.html

In caclulating the power demand of the components included in my last recommendation they would require a maximum power supply of 286 watts. You want the PSU larger than necessary for when you make additions or if you overclock your processor or video card and in general to meet every increasing power demands. So the 450 Watt Corsair is more than sufficient. The online calculators always vary depending on which one you use. Those on websites like Newegg or the manufacturers of power supplies tend to grossly oversize the required PSU so you spend more money. Here is the calculator I used; http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

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How did it go?
by axekick / April 16, 2010 11:13 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

liljdoodoo,

Just checking to ensure you got your system together without difficulty and are satisfied with its performance. Let me know how it went and how happy you are with it. Likewise if you have any issues or problems contact me to see if I can assist.

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Finished
by liljdoodoo / July 30, 2010 2:36 AM PDT
In reply to: How did it go?

The video is a lower grade than I really really want, but it play a few of the games along with the game I originally built it for.

Win 7 home OEM with Pro upgrade.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM58442594

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive58442594

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX440WFGIBOX

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

XFX HD-435X-YAH2 Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

MSI Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X Internal Burner

All these parts but the Win7 Pro upgrade came from http://www.newegg.com/ I have never done this before and it turned out to be the best adventure ever. This pc works so well except for user error every now and then, its a beauty. The power supply is big and not trusted but a some folks but never runs to hot, from the benefit of the case. And all the parts are keeping this computer up to its $6oo w/rebates price, otherwise I spent $645.00 for it. sounds cheap but when you look at the parts its really not other then the graphic card. Its a low grade but I did not need much at first, just one big enough to do my one game Majesty 2: the Fantasy Kingdom Sim. Now that I have this I am looking into a higher but not to expensive card, that I know will be what I want.

Thank you for ALL of your help everyone here.

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